by Avis Licht -
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Beautiful, delicious carrots from a container planting
People who live in urban areas or in apartments often think they can’t grow food. But using planters can be a fun and easy way to grow certain crops. Containers have their challenges, particularly because of limited soil and need for careful watering and fertilizing. On the up side, you can put them in small places, in the right light conditions and keep the bugs away. For more on container growing, read this post.
A confession – for two years I haven’t been able to grow any carrots, though I’ve sowed a whole lot of seeds. I prepare the bed carefully, rake and smooth it. Sow it. Water it. Watch and wait. Sure enough the seeds germinate, I give a victorious shout. The next day I come out and all the seedlings are gone. Some ravenous sow bugs, earwigs, slugs, snails or combination of any or all of the above have managed to decimate my crop. For gardening beginners, this could be very discouraging, especially if an experienced gardener can’t seem to have success.
See those carrots in the photo? Those are mine. I grew them. In a container! Here’s how:
1. Get a pot: clay, wood, plastic or cloth – doesn’t matter. For carrots, the pot should be 10 -12 inches deep.
A cloth container – use and put it away when you don’t need it. These cloth pots are easy to transport, easy to store: a real plus in urban areas. Find them at this site: Smart Pots.
2. Fill container with planting medium
A mix of seed starting medium and worm compost.
3. Keep seed moist to germinate, keep pot watered, but not soggy. Thin seedlings: 1/2 -1 inch apart.
2 months after sowing, carrots have filled in container and are ready for harvesting
When harvesting, gently separate the greens and look for the largest carrots . Pull them out carefully, making sure not to disturb the neighboring carrots. It wouldn’t hurt to give them a little water after harvesting to settle the roots.
In a 3 gallon size pot (like the one on the left) I will harvest more than 50 small carrots. They are were incredibly sweet and I had NO bug problems.
Be sure to read more about container planting in this post. Sign up for an email subscription to this blog so you won’t miss a post.
Even on tiny decks you can grow fun food. Not only herbs and flowers, but greens, salads and much more.